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Anything Else Forum

Offtopicland. This still isn't the place to discuss politics, religion, or hot-button social issues, however.

Roku 3 vs. Apple TV

buckeyeboy31's picture
July 18, 2014 at 11:57pm

Dropping DirecTV and need to pick one.....any suggestions?

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Fly Patterns's picture

I feel like Apple might be the devil in disguise. But I've never used either one.

-1 HS
BrooklynBuckeye's picture

Agreed. Apple is only good if all your products are apple, and then they've got you hooked, so they never improve their products drastically. Iphone was passed by droid 3 years ago, and is ALMOST out with a bigger screened phone. Keep Buckeye Nation as your only cult, avoid apple tv.

-4 HS
JasonR's picture

I wondered how long it would take for this to become an Apple vs. Anti-Apple thread.

+13 HS
FloridaBuck's picture

I always find humor in android users trashing apple as people who are just Apple fanboys, while the android users are blindly doing the same thing... Being fanboys lol. Both products have their pros and cons. Apple has been the worlds most profitable company for a reason though, and it is an American company.  I'm assuming you own a galaxy; Samsung has definitely had its fair share of problems, both in its operating system and public relations as of late. Whether you get sucked into Apple or Google, both can have their shortcomings.

As far as Roku or Apple TV, I would advise the OP to try them both out and see which one he or she prefers.  If you are already in the apple ecosystem and like that OS, go with apple. If not, Roku, chromecast, etc. may be good options.  Just search for Apple TV vs Roku and check out some reviews. Keep in mind, few people are objective. 

+5 HS
BrooklynBuckeye's picture

Apple "Is an American company" that doesn't pay taxes and has all their products built by Foxcon slave labor working in sweatshops that literally have suicide nets on the windows so employees can't jump out. Whatever, this shouldn't be about apple, you're right, but I'm not sure how much good they are doing for the American economy and have a hard time believing any huge corporation cares about consumers or the country in which it operates. Remember when new computers were getting cheaper every year? I miss those days.

+2 HS
NCBuckeye1's picture

I received a Chromecast from my brother for Christmas this year. I have had an Apple TV for almost 3 years now and love it, but I only have one and have a TV in my bedroom that has broadcast cable, so I was excited to have a Chromecast for that room. Boy was I wrong. You have to stream stuff either from your phone of from your computer ONLY in order to watch anything on it. Other than a few things that I can stream from my Chrome browser, I have not been impressed.

I have been cable-less for the last 3 years, have Hulu and Netflix, and can catch up on most things that I need to watch. Apple TV is very good if you are already in the Apple family, and is good even if you are not.

"Without winners, there wouldn't even be civilization." -- Woody

Ohio State Ombre's picture

im anti apple. but that being said i have both a chromecast and a roku. both are fantastic, but the roku is just a tad more user friendly for replacing cable so far for me. 

OSUlewis's picture

I have not tried Apple TV but I am happy with my Roku 3. My Smart TV will need to buffer several times while streaming shows but I never have a problem with my Roku. I also only currently stream Netflix and Amazon Prime. Hope this helps!

+1 HS
Eph97's picture

I'm an Apple guy, but I would hold off on the Apple TV for a bit and see if there is a product refresh in the fall as has been rumored.

+5 HS
JasonR's picture

I like Apple TV. The Netflix app is great and there are lots of other good apps on it. You can buy/rent movies and TV shows too. My only complaint is that you can't add apps (without jailbreaking), but it pretty much has everything I want anyway. Haven't ever used a Roku, but know people that have them and they have nothing but good things to say about them. 

Agree with Eph97, I would probably wait if you're set on Apple TV. Or, maybe now you could score an older one for cheaper!

Chromecast is probably a good option as well, if you use your devices to stream a lot.

+2 HS
Poison nuts's picture

I have Apple TV - it's great. Don't know much about Roku so no input. When making this sort of purchase, do loads & loads of research & read as many reviews as you can. I will say that if you already have Apple products, then yes, Apple TV is a good way to go...

The whole Apple vs other shit thing is dumb. Everything has their pros & cons. Go with whatever fits & works best for you.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

+1 HS
texasbuckeye's picture

I have a couple of the Roku boxes around the house, I like the flexibility of having the USB port on the side so if you download movies/shows it will play pretty much any format.  If you have Time Warner cable they can also double as an extra cablebox so you don't have to pay rent on one.  The price is great and it is kinda funny playing angry birds on a 60" screen.

BuckeyeRick's picture

It seems like I'm missing out. I have a Roku3 and Time Warner. How do I hook it up like an extra box? Tell me of this wizardry, please.

+1 HS
JasonR's picture

I was wondering the same thing. Had no idea you could do that but it sounds cool!

bucndc's picture

Guys, they don't cost that much. If you don't like either one, give it to your neighbor.

J.Mo's picture

I bought a Roku first... returned it and then bought an AppleTV. I have an AppleTV and Chromecast on my other TV. I love the AppleTV

+1 HS
d1145fresh's picture

I'm generally an Apple guy (Macbook, iPad, iPhone) but I use Roku for my room. Streams Netflix amazon prime hbo go and watch ESPN very well. Roku seems to have more content on it from what I can tell. Overall both are pretty good but I can't say too many complaints about my roku experience. 

InTressITrust's picture

Get the Chromecast. I have used it and appletv. The main perk is the money. Around a third of the price. It is so nice being able to use your phone (Android and iOS) to control content. Also I really like what Android is doing in the future. If you wait a standalone player wait for Android TV later thus year.

That all being said if you buy all your media from iTunes appletv makes the most sense.

"I'm not going to lie. We're anxious to be a part of a matchup like that. It's two states that love the game of football." -Jim Tressel

J.Mo's picture

Only problem I have with my Chromecast is that it needs to stream from computer/phone/tablet. Sometimes when I'm on my couch, I'm too lazy to stream from my computer. Also I have Chrome crash on me at times.

buckeyeboy31's picture

Thanks for all the input guys.  Basically all we are doing is streaming Netflix and Hulu, along with watch ESPN and big 10.  I can get an Apple TV for free, so my plan is to have the Roku in the living room with an antenna, Apple TV in the bedroom with an antenna and then use my PS3 in the basement for Hulu and netflix.  It seems like Roku and Apple TV both work for what we are looking to do.  

SOF_Buckeye's picture

BuckeyeBoy, I bought the Roku last year after dropping DirectTV to cut costs in the house. It is simple, and utterly reliable. I'm back on cable but still have the Roku. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Pandora, etc., it's still being used. I highly recommend it. I don't know anything about the Apple (not an Apple user), but am very familiar and a fan of the Roku. FWIW 

"The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender." Woody Hayes

+1 HS
Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

As someone who struggles with cable in and off, care to share why you went back?

Read my entire screen name....

SOF_Buckeye's picture

Quite frankly, it was more to do with getting to watch the football games. Plus, locally where I'm at (NC/Ft Bragg area), the package I needed cost less than DirectTV/Dish. I still keep the Roku active for there are many kids shows my little ones like.

"The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender." Woody Hayes

+2 HS
hetuck's picture

I bought an Apple TV for use at a second home. It worked great with my ipad. I have TWC in my home so I was able to access TWC to go (BTN is a necessity in the south) and Amazon Prime. It was simple to install. 

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

+1 HS
BullCityBuckeye's picture

I own both devices.  Each device, obviously, has its respective advantages and disadvantages that merit doing your own personal research.  Namely, some features that might be important to one person (e.g., Roku's USB capability) might not be as important to another person (e.g., mirroring the iPhone's screen display on your TV).  In short, I have found they are both comparable in performance (e.g., WiFi range, buffering, and menu navigating speed, for example).  I would say that Roku is much more flexible due to the number of "channels" you can "subscribe" to (although over half are admittedly complete garbage).  In contrast, Apple TV's channel selection is static (i.e., *you* can't "add" more channels; Apple occasionally adds some per their own schedule).  That being said, I have found that I prefer Apple TV's interface/menu layout for WatchESPN and Netflix over Roku's offering.  Although not a dealbreaker/maker for either, I would say Roku's remote control is much better than AppleTV's.  My bigger/clumsier fingers are simply not compatible with the smaller AppleTV controller (which, comically, I seem to lose more often in the couch cushions).

In the end, both are great and comparable devices and you really can't go wrong with either (i.e., neither will disappoint).  However, I do think it will be worthwhile for you to research some of the different features that may be critical for you personally.

+3 HS
logamaniac's picture

If airplay is important to you then appletv offers that. 

Roku offers plex, which is amazing. 

Findog5's picture

I have them both and prefer the Apple TV. Ease of use is great.  I agree on size of remote on Apple. Very small and I fat finger navigation quite a bit. I always travel with my Apple TV as it is great to use in hotel rooms and also connecting the HDMI port in the Honda Odyssey and streaming HD video for the kids. Makes travel a lot better when they are watching Netfix, Hulu etc. 

Raleigh Buckeye

bucksk1n's picture

If you are cutting the cord and wanting to stream TV you have 5 real choices right now - Roku, Apple, Chromecast, Amazon Fire or a gaming console (Xbox/Playstation).  All have their strengths and weaknesses.

Roku has been in the industry leader for a while and has the most providers signed.  If you can stream it, they can probably do it.  It has a nice remote and decent response time (I have the Roku2 so the 3 would be faster).  They just came out with a stick version like the Chromecast which would be nice if you don't have a lot of space for the box.

Apple's design is probably the best and it had been out the longest.  They should own the category if they had been a little more aggressive in signing content but it always seemed to me that they didn't want to upset the broadcasters and as a result didn't have key streamers like WatchESPN or HBOGo for a long time.  They've been working hard to catch up but it's always felt like an afterthought rather than getting continuous support like Roku.  If you have an Apple product like an Ipad or Iphone their system is still the simplest/best at streaming content.

Amazon Fire is set up to be used in conjunction with the Amazon Prime streaming service.  Amazon Prime has made a lot of progress in the last year and is closer to Netflix than most realize but like Apple, Amazon has a bad habit of trying to get you to use only their equipment.  I haven't used it but have heard it is missing quite a few key streamers (I do like Amazon Prime - they just got signed a deal to get exclusive access to all the old HBO shows like Deadwood, Sopranos, Band of Brothers and The Wire).

Xbox/Playstation are a decent alternative but only if you are a gamer and already have one.  I use mine in the living room for streaming but it's too expensive if you don't play games.

Google's Chromecast is a cheap and good option but has a few issues.  First you don't have a remote so anytime you want to use it you need to find you cellphone or tablet, open the app, and then pick want you want to run on your Chromecast.  Second, many of the best apps can only be run from Android phones -- Iphone apps seem to be a bit of an afterthought.  A last issue is the Chromecast only had 9 streaming services at launch (and only Netflix/Youtube worked well) but they did release a developer kit a few months ago and more services are being added all the time.  One thing that isn't on it (and probably never will be) is Amazon Prime as Google and Amazon are both working to dominate the Android market App Store (it's too complex to explain in more detail).

I like both my Chromecast and Roku but if I had to choose, I'd go with my Roku becasue I have an Iphone.  If I had an Android phone I really think I'd pick the Chromecast even with all the negatives I listed.  It's cheap enough to put one in every room and the service is faster than I believe would be possible from such a small device.  Apple TV is a good product but I don't think it will ever be more than an afterthought for Apple and if they start to lose market share it won't get updates.

+2 HS
hit_the_couch's picture

I don't have either and mainly just use Just gotta be careful what you click on though. Anyway, I hear the Apple TV is good if you're immersed in their eco-system and same thing with the Amazon box. If you're not immersed in either, then the Roku 3 is the way to go. 

My sister bought a Roku, and I fooled around with it a little bit: it's not bad. She loves it and bought two more for her other TVs.

My guess is you really can't go wrong with either one, but some don't feature the same channels as others. I think one of them can't get Pandora (if you use that) and maybe a couple others.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!